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What's On

Healthy Oils

The Healthier Oils Program continues to gain momentum!

Background

The Cessnock local government area (LGA) has the 2nd highest rate of cardiovascular disease deaths in NSW* with almost one-third of our adult population suffering from cardiovascular disease**.  

Cessnock City Council has a keen interest in protecting the health of the local community and in reducing the risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease.  

The Cessnock LGA Healthier Oils Program was formed in 2010 and is managed by a local working party including representatives from Cessnock City Council, the Heart Foundation NSW, Hunter New England Local Health District, Coalfields Healthy Heartbeat (Samaritans Foundation), Peden’s Hotel and KFC Cessnock. 

It is also endorsed by the Cessnock Healthy Lifestyle Network.  

The Healthier Oils Program encourages local food businesses to permanently switch to a healthier frying oil in the interest of heart health and in response to customer demand for healthier food choices. Environmental Health Officers from Cessnock City Council are actively working with local food businesses to make the oil change by providing information, education and incentives.

Oil and fat facts

Saturated and trans fats and oils increase the risk of heart disease and stroke by raising blood cholesterol levels. 

Replacing them with healthier mono and polyunsaturated fats and oils lowers this risk.

The Heart Foundation NSW recommends that people replace saturated and trans fats in their diet with healthier monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.

This will help lower blood cholesterol levels and therefore reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

A useful factsheet is the Heart Foundation’s Healthier Oils Program 'A Guide for Food Outlets'. “Consuming too much of the unhealthy saturated and trans fats is one of the key factors increasing our risk of cardiovascular disease, which is responsible for one in three Australian deaths each year,” said Penny Milson, Regional Health Promotion Coordinator, Heart Foundation NSW.

Why target food businesses?

“Many people do not consider the fact that meals purchased outside the home may be contributing to their overall saturated and trans fat intake and therefore, their risk of heart disease. It is important that the community is aware that ‘cholesterol free’ oil and some vegetable oils (such as palm oil) may be high in saturated and/or trans fats, which are harmful to heart health” Penny added.

The community can ask ‘Is it time for an oil change?’

Community members are also encouraged to support the campaign by requesting their favourite local take-away, café, restaurant, pub or club use healthier frying oils.  

Consumers can pick up an ‘Is it time for an oil change?’ postcard from Cessnock City Council or Samaritans.  

Many activities have been undertaken for The Healthier Oils Program so far including:  Healthier Oils Program Official Launch, dissemination of the ‘Is it time for an oil change?’ postcard, free trial of a healthier oil, video production, Rover bus advertisement, certificate presentation, presentation to other Environmental Health Officers at Environmental Health Australian National Conference, Sydney 2015 (and trade display).

For further information on healthier oils please visit the Heart Foundation website or contact Council’s Environmental Health Officers on 02 4993 4100 with any further comments/questions.

*   From www.healthstats.nsw.gov.au CVD death by LGA. All CVD 2010-2011

**  ABS Australian Health Survey 2011.12